[Ahh, this is my first blog post written under a Democratic presidency. Ahh.]
So, yesterday morning I found an email in my box from Karen. Karen noticed that she and I received the same comment on Monday. Now, receiving comments from the same reader is not unusual, but receiving the SAME comment from the SAME reader is.
The first thing I did is hop over here and check my comments. Sure enough, there it was:
First, let me say that I?m a huge fan of your posts. You're on my List Of Ravelry Favorites, and I often share your stuff with my knitting friends.
I am writing everyone on my Favorites List with a couple of questions. If you can answer them for me, it would be a HUGE HUGE HUGE favor. Really HUGE.
Thing is, I am writing a piece on Ravelry for my college magazine. Topic is WHY Ravelry is such a huge success. I need opinions from fellow Ravelers like you to back up this claim I am making.
These are the questions:
1) Why did you choose to join Ravelry?
2) How did you learn about Ravelry?
3) What does Ravelry give you that other sites don't?
4) Absolutely anything else you?d like to share with me on this subject.
My quandary is this: I love the site and come here almost every week to look for knitting tips and ideas. (I haven't joined yet, as I am too shy to talk of my own work?)
I want to understand why others do the same. Each person must have his or her own reason and I am very curious to understand this trend.
Once I write the piece, I intend to send it across to Bob the dog. Maybe, he will post it on the site to encourage newcomers or even use it for other promotion purposes.
Thank you in advance
Keep writing, keep sharing, keep creating
My first reaction was "what?" For those of you not on Ravelry, you should know that it's impossible to create a list of favorites without registering for the site. Also, the poster claimed to be writing an article for her "college magazine" without identifying the title of the publication, and contacted me via her GMail account. Doesn't that college give you a .edu address? Hmmm.
Intrigued, I did what any crafty knitter would do. I did a WhoIs on the IP (What? Do you think that we knitters don't know how to do these things?) Turns out that the IP from which she sent the email [188.8.131.52] is registered to an "Innovator Corporation" with an address listed in Browns Point, WA. Phone number: 1-253-925-1000.
A quick Google search didn't turn up a website for "Innovator Corporation," but I did find a listing on YellowPages.com. One of the categories under which the company is listed is "Art & Craft Supplies."
Hmmm. Veddy interesting.
The listing also mentions "Rubber Stamp Management." Rubber Stamp Management has a website. Unsurprisingly, it's related to stamping and other crafty endeavors.
So, this could all be some kind of crazy coincidence. Maybe our friend Cynthia Chesterfield is sophomore at Tacoma State, writing for her campus magazine as way to fill the hours between Biology and Business Ethics. Maybe she just happened to be walking by the offices of Innovator Corporation when she decided that she needed to email me with her survey questions, and maybe some kind soul at Innovator Corporation allowed her the use of a computer. I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt (even though parts of her story don't check out).
Because I'm a doubt giver, I emailed Ms. Chesterfield and asked her to provide to me (via her university-issued email address) the name of the publication for which she is writing. So far, there has been no response.
Do you know what I think? I think that Ms. Chesterfield is employed by Rubber Stamp Management, and was doing a little covert marketing research. I don't mind being contacted for such surveys, but I do mind someone misrepresenting her intentions. Would I be more inclined to respond to a survey from a student, rather than a marketing type at a for-profit company? Of course! I'm sure that's what Ms. Chesterfield was counting on. I also wouldn't be expecting anything in return from a student survey. Whereas if I answered a survey from Rubber Stamp Management, I would at least like a free return-address stamp out of the deal, and preferably one that has a ball of yarn next to my name. Or maybe a sheep? Knitting needles? The options are endless.
Curious to see if Karen and I were the only ones to have received such a comment, I posted about this on Ravelry forum. Within minutes, I knew that we were not. There were others, including (and I love this) Mary Heather! [Incidentally, if Jess is Mama Rav, is MH Sister Rav?]
I bet you're wondering, did I reply to Ms. Chesterfield's survey? I did not. Do I think that what she did was illegal? No. Was it phishing? No. She didn't ask me for any identifying information, or my credit-card number. But I do think that it was sneaky. Is this a big deal? No. But I hate being fooled like this. Especially when five minutes on Google tells me what you're really about.
However, maybe you would like to respond? I'm sure that she would appreciate it! Here's her email address. Or, maybe you want to Tweet her? Her profile is here. You should ask her about a free stamp while you're at it.